Combining contests with ways to boost customer retention is what customer loyalty programs were made for. You are able to use a centralized data system to find out which customers are thinking of leaving or are reducing purchase rates. With your individual customer profiles, you will be better able to understand why this is happening.

Your survey requests and rewards for feedback part of your loyalty program help you know when customers might be unhappy with your product or service. They will be able to guide you towards providing the right kind of engagement which should renew their faith in you.

A gamified customer loyalty program allows you to enhance customer engagement, keep them interested and, like completing an end of level boss, reward with a desirable pay off. These contest ideas are just to get you started on your customer retention program.


On Trend Contest

More and more, customers ally themselves to brands through how said brand reflects back on them. An online profile which is topical and influential is what they desire from their own social media presence. Use your contest to show you want to engage in the conversation and that you can contribute something worthwhile.

This can be done by using your customer loyalty program to search trends which are (or can be with some cleverness) associated to your brand. For example, when a celebrity such as Beyoncé reveals a pregnancy, you can ask customers to choose a product for the soon to be born.

Customers use their account on the loyalty platform to provide their choice. The customer with the best or funniest reason for their choice wins. The results are then shared on social media and everyone can enjoy it. You can even post finalists and have your social media followers vote for their favorite.


Take Our Product on Holiday Contest

This is a customers retention boosting contest which will only work with the right brand and the right kind of customer. However, when it does work, it will provide more than just retention.

Using your customer loyalty program, promote the contest to your base. This means using email updates, newsletters or push notifications on your loyalty app. Whatever is your preferred method of customer communication. Ask them to take a picture of your product or something you suggest, a brand mascot for example, in the most remote or interesting locations.

Customers will not go on holiday just to earn some loyalty points, so this is a seasonal contest. Do it over the summer so that customers can do it on their own planned breaks or even do it over the holiday period. The contest can mainly be for fun, but customers get points for likes and one overall winner will receive a grand prize. This not only gets customers engaged, but provides you with social media content for a few months. It’s a winner on all levels.


Pub Quiz Contest

Trivia contests can be a little difficult to gauge. You need to make sure it is at the right level for your customer demographic. Too hard and they will feel alienated. Too easy and they will disengage quickly.

A pub quiz contest works to show you are on point with your customer loyalty program. This is because you can use social media features such as Facebook Livestream to promote your brand in real time. 

Set a date and time and promote it. Ask questions and have followers answer in the comments below the stream. The rules are up to you, but a good idea is simply the first to answer a certain amount of answers correctly wins (i.e. first past the post). As you can’t police users in the same way as a physical pub quiz, you can make the questions difficult or cryptic so they won’t be answered immediately via a quick Google search.


Where’s Waldo Contest

This is another good one if you have built up a brand with your own unique logo or mascot. Provide topical pictures with your chosen figure hidden somewhere. Depending on the size of your business, you can use your graphics team or simply the employee with the best Photoshop skills to create the images.

Customers then submit screen grabs with the found figure circled. You can have a time limit or simply reward all customers who find it with some extra reward points. Great alternative to the classic photo contest and let’s you get creative.

Pun Contest

Many older couples claim the reason for a long and happy relationship is down to one thing; a sense of humor. Showing you are a brand which likes to have fun is a great way to show your customers you are worth sticking with also.

It couldn’t be easier. Choose a topic, send it out through your social media and the best pun (with related hashtag) posted on your social media site of choice wins. Usually best to choose two unrelated topics and create a pun which joins them. A great example is eggs and pop bands – Manic Street Poachers, Charlie EggsCEggs or Teenage Flanclub. This really helps cross promote you and is great fun for all involved with minimal effort on your part.


Embarrassment Contest

Inspired by comedian Nick Kroll’s #PuberMe campaign, you can use what the internet was designed for: embarrassment over our past selves. This doesn’t mean in any malicious way, of course. If you look at the popularity of throwback Thursdays and flashback Fridays, users on social media are happy to provide some embarrassing pictures of themselves.

Use your customer loyalty program to promote a contest where users submit the most embarrassing picture of themselves which is related to your brand. For example, if you are a sporting goods supplier, then you can have users send in their most embarrassing sporting pictures.

Use social media to promote the contest and also to vote for the winner. Ideally, you can follow Mr. Kroll’s lead and have a charitable element added to the contest.


Feel Good Contest

Almost the inverse of an embarrassing contest, is the feel good contest. By referencing some of the many disappointments of a year like 2017, you can ask users to lift our spirits up a little.

Users submit examples of either feel good stories which have happened to them recently. Or, even better, customers have to submit examples of them provide a little happiness in their day to day. Users can get creative, but they don’t have to be grand to be worthwhile. Promote it on social media and show that you are a brand which cares for more than just their customers.



Marcos Martínez
Software Engineer & Head of IT

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